Counsellor Q&A: My ex says I'm to blame

Q: It was hard enough when my husband left me but now I’ve clapped my eyes on the woman he left me for, I’m a complete mess. She’s basically a younger version of me. To make matters worse, he now says I ignored him when the children were born so I’m partly to blame for why he left!

Kim, via email

A: I’m so sorry your having such an awful time. When your heart is in pieces, it’s important to take it one day at a time, so here are three steps to help you do just that…

1. Be kinder to yourself. This is not a time to mull over, ‘what did I do wrong?’ but to take a breath and think, ‘How can I support myself to get through today?’

2. Family lives is a great place to get immediate telephone support. You can call the parentline free on 0808 800 2222 any time, night or day.

3. Pay attention to your heart and ignore the negative chatter in your head. Try to stay focused on your love for your kids (and theirs for you), Your appreciation for yourself and the knowledge that one of the worst things that could happen has happened and you’re still standing. Try to squash distracting thoughts about your ex-husband, what he said or how his girlfriend looks. Those kinds of thoughts will only cause you pain, anger and resentment.

Emma Marlin, Counsellor


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